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RARE Antique Hand Made Stationery Box, Chest in Leather with Jewels. Art Nouveau
"Souvenir of good affection, mine - Good Friend, Dear Heart - (name unreadable) 1905". That is the hand written dedication on the side bottom panel of this hand made Art Nouveau masterpiece in tooled leather. The large box is shaped like stationery boxes of its time, but it has a silk liner and no partitions so perhaps it was made as a jewelry box. I suspect, from the charming dedication, it was meant to hold the love letters, mementos of a courtship. Perhaps a gift from a groom to his bride, a labor of love. Whatever the original situation, the box is truly fabulous. Wood base is then entirely clad in thick but supple old leather that has been enhanced with tooling for a bas relief appearance on the iris and florals which are very Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau would have been a very haute or new and fashionable style, just at its apogee in the year 1905. Avant Guarde. Adding an ornamentation of opaline glass cabochons in 3 shades of blue is just icing on the cake. I might add, for those who've seen the Art Nouveau architectural masterpiece at 29 rue du Rapp, Paris, it was completed the same year. One wonders who our architect was for this fabulous and one-of-a-kind chest. Gorgeous and unique, isn't it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The old leather is still rich, supple, a couple of spots where edging is slightly lifted will improve with a touch of leather glue and a little tenderness. I meant to do those before our photographer got to this one, but on the other hand, better for you to see where those very small imperfections are. They'll be adhered and smooth for our customer. No rips or tears, no bad deteriorations anywhere on the leather. The box has and shows age, but is still very nice indeed. And a one of a kind true Art Nouveau artisan's masterpiece, to be sure.
Very good to excellent condition throughout, age and type considered. Quite often those have cracks or chips, but this one has neither. Not even hairlines. Exceptional! No bug bites, either. A very superb old snuff or patch box.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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